Jalen Rose explains why Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T. over LeBron James by using straightforward reasoning

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

If there is one thing NBA fans, players, former players and media personalities love to debate the most, it’s who is the greatest player of all time between LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

The latest former player to weigh in on the debate was Jalen Rose, and he explained why he thinks Jordan should be considered the G.O.A.T. over James.

“When you talk about the best players of all time, you ultimately start talking about who’s the G.O.A.T.,” Rose said. “And when you talk about G.O.A.T., the first word is ‘greatest.’ That means achieved more than somebody else. And if we’re comparing Michael Jordan and LeBron, for example, Michael Jordan got 10 scoring titles. LeBron has one. Michael Jordan has been Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA. LeBron hasn’t.”

James and Jordan both have a ton of accolades in their NBA careers, but there are a few categories where Jordan has the edge, specifically in the number of NBA titles that he won.

Jordan is a 14-time All-Star and five-time MVP. The Hall of Famer won 10 scoring titles and six NBA titles and was named NBA Finals MVP six times.

For his career, Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field.

“Michael Jordan has two separate three-peats,” Rose said. “LeBron doesn’t have a three-peat. … And so, you don’t necessarily even need to watch them play to acknowledge that what Michael Jordan achieved just solely on the court is greater.”

It’s a valid point from Rose, but it shouldn’t take away from the amazing career James has put together to this point. A four-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP, James has made 18 All-Star teams and been named NBA Finals MVP in each of his four Finals victories.

James’ career is also still going, and he could pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer as long as he remains healthy for the rest of his career. That’s an amazing feat, and something Jordan was unable to accomplish in his career.

Rose is obviously entitled to his opinion, but Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green offered an interesting perspective on the G.O.A.T. debate a few months ago, essentially saying that fans should just appreciate both players rather than pit them against each other.

James and Jordan are undoubtedly two of the greatest players in NBA history, and Rose certainly won’t be the last person to add to the debate that seemingly will never end.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.